Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Dramatic Surge in Managed Services?

September 08, 2009

An 11-country study by technology research firm AMI-Partners has found a drastic and sudden increase in small to medium-size businesses with very-strong interest in managed services.

The report also found nearly 60 percent of SMBs worldwide are now interested in managed services, representing an almost 100 percent increase from the previous three months, and nearly 40 percent of SMBs are interested in software-as-a-service. Changes of that magnitude rarely happen so quickly, and suggest the enormity of challenges SMBs face globally in coping with the recession.

The study also shows that SMB executives are interested in buying managed services and software-as-a-service only when buying those services directly cuts costs or increases revenue. One would think that bodes well for hosted voice services, except for the requirement to replace phone equipment, which makes the decision a bit harder. Services that reduce costs but leave analog handsets in place might therefore prove more attractive for many potential buyers.

Over the last nine months, the involvement of business decision-makers in technology selections also has grown from 31 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 83 percent in August 2009. At most smaller organizations, that typically means the business owner or CEO now is directly involved whenever software or communications investments are planned.

The dramatic change seems to be a result of the recession, so the question is whether the preference will remain as the recession ends. “What we are seeing in the SMB space right now is anything but ‘business as usual,’” says Chad Thompson, AMI-PartnersVP.

Gary Kim is a contributing editor for ContactCenterSolutions. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard